Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Season Details, Sign Up, New Offerings. We now have Fresh Poultry, Pies and Cider!

To our CSA community,
Welcome to the Farm & Fork Society, 2014 season; formerly Millburn-Short Hills CSA. If you are a returning member, welcome back! If you are considering becoming a “shareholder”/member, we hope to provide you with vital information that should assist you in making an informed decision.

As a member of the seventh season the CSA you will be joining dozens of families from Millburn-Short Hills, Maplewood-South Orange, Summit, and the surrounding area in a vibrant community that supports the sustainable farming activities of local farmers.

What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short, is a new-old system. Adopted from Switzerland and Japan, supporting CSAs has become a movement growing in momentum in the US since the mid-1980‘s. In basic terms a CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to local farming operations by becoming “shareholders” in a selected farm. A monetary “shareholder pledge” in advance of the season allows the farmer to cover anticipated costs of his or her farm operation and also pays the farmer’s salary. In return, as a CSA member you will receive weekly shares of the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season.

Why join a CSA?
Here are just a few reasons.
  • Enjoy the satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and getting to know your local farmer.
  • Teach your children about where their food comes from & who grows it.
  • Eat ultra fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables and other products that have superior flavor and vitamin benefits.
  • Gain exposure to new foods and new ways and styles of cooking.
  • Reduce packaging waste and support the environment.
  • Join a wonderful community of individuals interested in connecting the farm directly to the consumer and to enjoy activities like farm visits, recipe swapping and more.

Economics of Joining a CSA

CSA shares offer more value for your food dollar.  First, 100% of your money goes directly to the farmer to grow and harvest high quality food for you. By working directly together, farmers and consumers can cut out middlemen related costs (trucking companies, retailers, lobbyists, etc.).

Second, the produce is lower cost and much fresher than supermarket fruits and vegetables.

CSA Costs June 28, 2013 Supermarket Costs
Fruit and Vegetables Fruit and Vegetables  
$14  and $20 $25 and $50
Click here for a detailed comparison chart.

Shares Offered

Vegetable Share -- Certified organic vegetable delivery from Starbrite Farms in Andover, NJ, $625. (Early bird price, $600, must pay by 3/1) The quantity of each week’s share varies. Share produce may include but is not limited to tomatoes, summer and winter squash, garlic, onions, different types lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, eggplant, peppers, swiss chard, beans, herbs, carrots, cabbage, spinach, and more. Usually 5-10 types per week.  Vegetable share runs for 24 weeks.

Fruit Share  -- Eco-certified fruit delivery from Breezy Hill Orchard in New York, $322. Weather permitting, shares will include cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries,, peaches, plums, nectarines, rhubarb. apples, pears, and possibly cranberries (from an organic farm in Massachusetts). Fruit share runs for 23 weeks.

Poultry Share -- One whole fresh free range, antibiotic and hormone free
chicken (Approx 4 lbs/frozen) from Knoll Krest Farm.  $368 for 23 weeks.

*Supplemental Shares

Egg Share -- Eggs (pastured, free range, antibiotic and hormone free, organic brown) from Knoll Krest Farm in New York, $115. One dozen a week for 23 weeks.

Pasta Share -- Fresh homemade pasta made with free range, antibiotic and hormone free, organic brown eggs from Knoll Krest Farm in New York, $115. 12 oz per week, a different shape and flavor each week for 23 weeks.

Poultry Half Share -- One whole fresh free range, antibiotic-hormone free
chicken (Approx 4 lbs/frozen) from Knoll Krest Farm every other week.  $192 for 12 weeks.

Pie Share (Full & Half) --  Breezy Hill pies use the best local ingredients.  The hand rolled crusts are made with local butter from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy and eggs from Knoll Krest. Fillings comes from the farm's Eco Apple Certified Apples and other fruit sourced from local farms. Additionally, Breezy Hill uses no fillers, extenders, preservatives or cornstarch in its pies. Twelve inch pie selection may include (but not limited to) apple, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry, peach, and cherry. $345 for 23 weeks.  ($180 for 12 weeks/every other week)

Cider Share -- Fresh farmhouse cider from  Breezy Hill Orchard. 1/2 gallon per week.  $115 for 23 weeks.

In addition to our above mentioned add-on shares, we plan on offering supplemental shares from other local farmers throughout the season including Vermont organic maple syrup and honey from Green Mountain Maple Sugar Refining Company, cheese, mushrooms, and beef. So stay posted!

*You must be a vegetable share, fruit share or poultry full share member to add on any supplemental share.

Who are our Farmers?

Elizabeth Ryan is the owner/operator of Breezy Hill Orchard & Knoll Krest Farms in Hudson Valley, NY.  Equipped with a degree from Cornell University in Pomology (botany and cultivation of stone fruit), Ryan’s orchard has been growing highly flavored fruit since 1949. Ryan maintains a long-standing commitment to sustainable agriculture and local green economies. The orchards at Breezy Hill are sprayed minimally and certified in the Eco Apple and Fair Trade programs. The home farm has been managed exclusively with certified organic materials for 5 years and will certify next year. They consider biodynamic the holy grail and are focused on environmental stewardship and fair labor. The farm grows more than 50 varieties of apples in addition to raspberries, strawberries, cherries, sour cherries, blackberries, blueberries, currants, peaches, plums, pears and cranberries.  Breezy Hill also offers a full line of completely homemade fresh fruit pies, baked goods, salsas, chutneys, and fresh apple, pears, and apple raspberry ciders, and, some European style ciders.

NOTE: The NY/NJ Metropolitan area is not known for its fruit, and organic or sustainably grown is almost unheard of.  We have researched and interview farmers throughout the area and Breezy Hills Orchard’s practice are in line with our mission to provide you with environmentally friendly and healthy produce.

Knoll Krest Farm has been raising all natural poultry and eggs for generations. The happy hens are free running and are raised without antibiotics and hormones. They only use vegetarian feed. Their pasta is made from semolina flour and their own pastured chickens’ eggs.

John Krueger is the owner/operator of Starbrite Farm. He has been an organic farmer for more than 25 years and providing organic produce to CSAs for more than 10 years starting with the Bloomfield-Montclair CSA in 2003. For the 2006 season Starbrite was chosen to be the farmer for the Downtown Harvest CSA in Jersey City. During the 2007 season a new CSA group in Westfield was added and Starbrite Farm supplied produce for 200 members among the 4 groups. In 2010 the farm served approximately 400 members through 7 pick-up sites. By 2012 the farm served 650 members and sold at 3 farmer’s markets- Montclair, Teaneck, and Denville. Starbrite currently services distribution sites in Montclair (3 locations), Westfield, Jersey City, Morristown, Newark, Metuchen, Staten Island, Caldwell, Millburn and New Brunswick. with a 2013 membership to about 700 members. In November of 2013, thanks to the generous support of many CSA members Krueger was able to turn a long time dream of owning his own farm into a reality. He purchased the 80 acre property and has an additional 50 acres of land that will be transitioned into organic production.  In the coming years, Krueger will be planting fruit trees and bushes, and slowly begin expanding into production of eggs, and other grass fed animal products. He has a grand vision of a diversified and integrated farm, something akin to the typical small farm of 100 years ago, except with the cutting edge techniques and materials available in the 21st century. It will be a sustainable operation producing nutritious food for as many folks as possible with a minimum of external inputs; one of many emerging “model farms” that are leading the way as we learn to farm for the future. But more than this it will be our farm. A place for CSA members and market customers to visit; a place to bring children to teach them the source of their food.

How does it work?

The Farm & Fork Society season runs from June 13 through November 21, 2014. Members pick up their shares on Fridays from the Wells Fargo Parking lot located at the corner of Essex Street and Spring Street in downtown Millburn (Behind Bhakti Barn Yoga).  Pick up times are from 12 PM to 3 PM.  

Montclair Farmer's Market Option: Our vegetable farmer, Starbrite Farm, is at the Montclair Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. There are 20 Vegetable Shares available for pick up at the market on Saturday mornings from 8-10 AM at the Starbrite Farm stand. All shares will be pre-boxed and there will be no substitution of the contents in your share. Share price is $635. The increase in price is the pay for the extra labor and supplies the farmer needs. There are several great vendors at the market including fruit, meat, eggs, fish and cheese so you can supplement your share. We do not want you to feel like you are missing out on our other offerings. In addition, you will still be able to purchase some of our other supplemental shares the CSA will be offering throughout the season including meat, honey, maple syrup and cheeses.  We will work out a system so you will not miss out.
(If you choose this option, please write MONTCLAIR on the top of your commitment form)

All members are expected to volunteer 2 short shifts per season to assist in the distribution of weekly shares. A volunteer sign-up sheet will be coming your way before the season begins.  

All members are required to pay a $20 membership fee to help cover the costs of running the CSA and any supplies that are needed.

How to Become a Member

Click here to download your Farm & Fork Society Share Contract. Instructions on where to mail checks and how they should be written out are included on the contract. Also click here to download the CSA Rules and Regulations. Please review prior to mailing your contract and check.  The commitment form and checks are needed no later than April 15.

By joining the Farm & Fork Society you reap the rewards of being a member of a community supported agriculture group.  Please recognize that there is no guarantee of the exact amount of produce to be received each week. The farm cannot offer refunds, should you be unable to continue through the season. The farms strive to provide us with the highest quality products at a reduced rate from market price throughout the season in exchange for your advanced commitment to the farms.  By submitting your contract you are also agreeing to the rules and regulations of the CSA.

We look forward to seeing our long standing members again in the 2014 season as well as welcoming all new CSA members! Our goal is to continue to build a wonderful community within and around our farmer partners while providing healthy and seasonal food to you and your family!

All the best,
Melissa and Wendy

P.S. To keep up-to-date on the Farm & Fork Society:

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